Will Johnson

Scorpion (Undertow Music)

Texas Platters

Will Johnson

Scorpion (Undertow Music)

Anyone coming to Will Johnson's first solo work in eight years expecting another side of his rock band Centro-matic or standard singer-songwriter fare is in for a surprise. At first blush, this "grower," as Johnson has called it, sounds disjointed and impossibly moody. Adjust your ears, and it comes into a hazy focus. With Centro bandmate Matt Pence engineering and adding creaks and whooshes, the two create a dreamscape somewhere between the nightmares of Vic Chesnutt and Left Coast sunshine of early Neil Young. Lyrically, Johnson reaches for the deceptive poetry of Richard Buckner, and he mostly succeeds, although it will take many listens to unravel some of its puzzles. Persistent piano on "Bloodkin Push" and barely there vocals on "Vehicular and True" are among the most memorable moments of Scorpion, a difficult listen with subtle rewards.


More Will Johnson
Texas Platters
Brent Best and Will Johnson
Your Dog, Champ, Swan City Vampires (Record Review)

Jim Caligiuri, Oct. 23, 2015

ACL Music Fest Saturday Interview
Monsters of Folk
Austin's Will Johnson sounds off on the Monsters of Folk

Austin Powell, Oct. 8, 2010

More Music Reviews
SXSW Wednesday Record Reviews
Pegi Young & the Survivors
Raw (Record Review)

Jim Caligiuri, March 17, 2017

SXSW Wednesday Record Reviews
Infinite Worlds (Record Review)

Libby Webster, March 17, 2017

More by Jim Caligiuri
SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
Soft Boys, Youngbloods, Moby Grape, Brian Jones’ grandson, etc.

March 18, 2017

SXSW Panel: Do Music Journalists Matter Anymore?
SXSW Panel: Do Music Journalists Matter Anymore?
Not even journalists were interested in finding out

March 17, 2017


Will Johnson

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)